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Why Employees Stay

Posted in:
Talent Management

Increasingly, business leaders are starting to understand the importance of employee retention as a way to minimize turnover. However, the question remains: what makes an employee want to stay? What helps to keep employees engaged? And, how can managers help with retention and engagement?

The truth is, the things that matter most to your employees will vary from company to company, from industry to industry. However, some key reasons are evident in research.

According to the LinkedIn survey ‘Why and How People Change Jobs”, the most commonly stated reasons for changing jobs include:

1) I was concerned about the lack of opportunities for advancement 2) I was unsatisfied with the leadership of senior management 3) I was unsatisfied with the work environment/culture 4) I wanted more challenging work 5) I was unsatisfied with the compensation/benefits 6) I was unsatisfied with the rewards/recognition for my accomplishments

As you can see, employees are interested in advancing their careers, in working within a positive environment with strong leadership, and want to be acknowledged for their contributions. Those are the top reasons that an employee continues to stay with their employer. Notably, pay and benefits is quite low on the list when it comes to its importance in relation to employee retention. The reason being, there are many more intangible aspects that impact upon the decision to stay. Whereas, monetary aspects are more important at the beginning when a business is looking to attract talent.

Creating Opportunities for Advancement

Employees like to see a clear path forward that doesn’t require finding a new employer. A culture that encourages promotion from within, and supports employees in obtaining the education and training required to advance, is likely to see reduced turnover. Happy employees don’t feel the need to jump ship to move up.

Environment and Leadership

It has often been stated that employees don’t leave jobs, they leave managers. While this may be somewhat overstated, there is a nugget of truth in that statement. Employees want to work with managers who provide clear direction, a measured response to challenges, and are able to illuminate what success looks like in each particular role. Similarly, culture and environment can have a significant impact on retention and engagement. Try to foster a collaborative, supportive culture, and take steps to minimize workplace toxicity.

Praise and Acknowledgement

Most people are motivated by the prospect of a job well done. The rewards of doing great work are compounded when those wins are acknowledged and celebrated by one’s manager. According to Forbes, millennial employees (now the largest part of the workforce) require regular feedback in order to feel engaged and content in their roles. They just need to explicitly know that they have done a job well.

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Further Reading

Other articles you may be interested in:

Harnessing the Power of Culture

Reward Your Employees With a Positive Workplace

Motivating Top Talent

Read more articles on our Knowledge Hub